Cazoo, Dettol and TikTok shake up market : CityAM
The pandemic may have stopped the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, but it has sparked some dramatic moves in the world of sports sponsorship.
Newbies are making big investments while more established sponsors have pushed aside to make room.
A combination of forced habit changes and the inequality of the effects of Covid-19 on different sectors has led to a plethora of announcements from governing bodies and rights holders looking to offset the losses from their sport over the past year.
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Most notable among brands taking a move are those trying to disrupt the used car market.
In particular, Cazoo, which had raised £ 80 million at the time of its launch in December 2019, seemed keen to spend a significant portion of that on sponsorship rights.
Last summer, the company made its first major investment and became Everton’s main sponsor and one of the few UK-based non-betting brands to adorn a Premier League jersey.
Three weeks later, Cazoo was announced as Aston Villa’s kit sponsor.
Through October, the brand claimed to have the Midas touch as the clubs sat first and second on the table.
Cazoo’s sponsorship buying frenzy continued with further partnerships announced with the Rugby League World Cup, World Snooker Tour and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new competition, The Hundred.
Cazoo and Cinch roll into cricket
In fact, the parking lot at Lord’s could be the place to get a bargain this summer as another new online used car portal becomes England Cricket’s premier partner.
Cinch won’t replace a more venerable brand than NatWest, a fan of English cricket for four decades; Proof that investor confidence in online used car operators is fueling the current upswing in the sponsorship market despite a decline in new car sales.
Investors themselves have also changed their behavior in response to the pandemic.
Social trading company eToro reported a five-fold increase in the number of new positions opened on its platform between January and April 2020.
They too have invested heavily in sponsorship over the last year and now have partnerships with Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester City, Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley.
Dettol rides the “hand disinfection effect”
However, if excessive time at home changes the way people buy cars or even trade stocks, the role brands can play in returning to relative normalcy will lead other sectors to invest in sports too.
The now iconic Hands Face Space mnemonic has entrenched the use of masks and social distancing to limit the spread of the virus and trigger a “hand sanitizing effect”.
Last week, the football association announced that it had signed Dettol as the first official hygiene partner, which coincides with the government’s roadmap pointing the way back to competitive sport and ultimately to full stadiums.
The deal covers the English team as it begins a pandemic-overloaded biennium that includes the late Euro 2020 and this summer’s World Cup, and is aimed at players and fans to ensure they take action to protect themselves and protect their surroundings.
It also covers the broad game, in which compliance with hygiene routines is of crucial importance for the playing ability of the clubs.
TikTok launches soccer plans
In order to speak of dramatic sponsorship steps, however, it seems appropriate to conclude the announcement that TikTok has become a partner of Euro 2020.
This makes TikTok the first digital entertainment platform to sponsor a major international soccer tournament.
According to eMarketer, a tech industry analyst, TikTok’s popularity skyrocketed in a year of lockdown, especially among 18- to 24-year-olds. The share of British social media users is expected to increase from 12.4 percent to 21 percent during the pandemic.
In the words of TikTok’s UK GM, “Our community loves to celebrate sport in a creative way and I can’t wait to see how they deal with all of the inevitable content we expect for Uefa Euro 2020.”
On June 21, when lockdown restrictions in England are due to end, football fans are hoping the need to find creative ways to celebrate the sport is over.
By then, however, at least the sports sponsorship landscape will have changed dramatically.
Neil Hopkins is the global strategy leader at M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment.